The rowdy, the mystical come together to party on St. Pat’s Day |

The rowdy, the mystical come together to party on St. Pat’s Day

Monday evening you will find me at Cooper’s in Nevada City, listening to a double billing: the Blarney Boys and the Wicker Men.

The Blarney Boys were the surprise of the Celtic Festivals Pub stage with harmonies, musicality and songs that are similar to the Dubliners, Dervish, Altan and the Clancey Brothers. The band’s sound is worthy of the best Irish pubs, complete with comical songs of about wanderers, rovers, drinking and sailor shanties.

As stated in the band members’ own words on myspace: “Combining a versatile arrangement of acoustic instruments ranging from the Fiddle, Mandolin and Irish Bouzouki to the Guitar and Acoustic Bass, with rowdy, meaningful storytelling lyrics in both English and Irish, we’ll make it well worth your trip to the bar! We’re out to have a good time and play the original Jigs, Slip Jigs, Reels, Ballads and traditional Irish Pub Tunes passed on through generations of friends and family. Most would say that the pride of the Irish runs deeply through blood and family. Well, we’re the living testimony of such stories. We ourselves, along with so many other Irish strung out across this wide nation, share that pride of culture.”

The Blarney Boys consists of Josh Ford, the Gaelic speaking originator of the group; Gill Anthony, a fiddlist; Sage Orish, a drummer; Angelo Meyers on the Bodhran and Lue Meyers on keyboard.

All comers to Cooper’s on St. Patrick’s Day will get to lift a glass to some great Irish music, including the sentimental and historic ballads such as “The Foggy Dew” and “ar Éirinn ní neosfainne ce hí” or to rowdy story-tellin’ and drinkin’ tunes like “Nancy Whiskey.”

“We’re keepin’ our culture alive,” say the Blarney Boys, “and tryin’ to give people a real feel for what it is to be Irish!”

Trading sets with the above is another favorite of mine, the Wicker Men, a duo that encapsulates the Celtic lore of earth magic with images of bards, gypsies and the druids, who summon up mythical lands the like of Tolkien and Stonehenge.

The Wicker Men consists of Patience Yanderling (a virtuoso of the six- and 12-string guitars and vocals ranging from tenor to double base (tuva throat singing) and Hojji Firemaker (multilayered percussions, Tibetan gongs, celestial bells and Djembe). They perform at festivals all over the place, including our own KVMR Celtic festival.

As if this is not enough, we will be blessed with some Irish step dancers and some reading by renowned Irish Poet and Storyteller, Mollie Wilmot.

Eat corn beef and cabbage and dance – all this on Monday at 235 Commercial St. Entertainment begins at 8 p.m.


Rich Oberleitner is a local chropractor and a lover of all things Celtic, as shown, he says, by his involvement for the past three years as director of grounds entertainment at the KVMR Celtic Festival. Contact him at or

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